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Publication numberUS3690243 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 12, 1972
Filing dateApr 12, 1971
Priority dateApr 12, 1971
Publication numberUS 3690243 A, US 3690243A, US-A-3690243, US3690243 A, US3690243A
InventorsRobert R Lambert
Original AssigneeAir Factors
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Suspended ceiling framework supported troffer air distribution system
US 3690243 A
Abstract
The suspended ceiling framework supported troffer air distribution system has effectively continuous arrays or rows of resilient inverted channel members, each having the lower feet thereof separated in a natural state, and contracted for insertion on and between the runners of a suspended ceiling framework and over air control means extending between the runners; and has ceiling tile inserted between the runners and the air control means to close the channel members for conducting air therealong. The inverted channel members may be integral; assembled from separate sides, and a web; or folded from duct board which is longitudinally notched and which is with or without lower foot channels. The duct board may also be longitudinally notched to provide marginal side portions which extend from the runners to the air control means when the duct board is mounted on the suspended ceiling framework. As additional support and to relieve the weight on the suspended ceiling framework, anchors and clamped longitudinal members may secure the channel members and transverse members to with and between the soffit wires hanging the framework. Each array or row may have channel members of uniform side heights or may have channel members of descending side heights from a cross duct. The cross ducts may be located in staggered relationship between the troffer rows.
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Lambert Sept. 12, 1972 [54] SUSPENDED CEILING FRAMEWORK SUPPORTED-TROFFER AIR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM [72] Inventor: Robert R. Lambert, Glendora, Calif.

[73] Assignee: Air Factors, Inc., Redlands, Calif. I

22 Filed: April 12, 1971 211, Appl.No.: 133,284

[52] US. Cl. ..98/40 D, 52/484 [51] Int. Cl. .Q. ..F24f 13/06 [58] Field of Scarch...98/4O D, 40 DL, 40 C; 52/221,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 11/ 1961 Geocaris ..98/40 DL Lee et a1. ..98/40 D .[57] ABSTRACT The suspended ceiling framework supported troffer air distribution system has effectively continuous arrays or rows of resilient inverted channel members, each having the lower feet thereof separated in a natural state, and contracted for insertion on and between the runners of a suspended ceiling framework and over air control means extending between the runners; and has ceiling tile inserted between the runners and the air control meansto close the channel members for con.- ducting air therealong. The inverted channel members may be integral; assembled from separate sides, and a web; or folded from duct board which is longitudinally notched and which is with or without lower foot channels. The duct board may also be longitudinally not'ched to provide marginal side portions which extend from the runners to the air control means when the duct board is mounted on the suspended ceiling framework. As additional support and to relieve the weight on the suspended ceiling framework, anchors and clamped longitudinal members may secure the channel members and transverse members to with and between the sofiit wires hanging the framework. Each array or row may havechannel members of uniform side heights or may have channel members of descending side heights from a cross duct. The cross ducts may be located in staggered relationship between the troffer rows.

39 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEP 12 m2 3.690.243

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SUSPENDED CEILING FRAMEWORK SUPPORTED TROFFER AIR DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION These ducts have been generally of a round or boxlike cross section with sides that merge into narrow neck portions which mount directly onto the air diffuser assembly. In order to increase the cross-sectional area of these ducts for increased air volume or for decreased velocity for a given air volume, it is necessary to increase the dimensions of the duct above the neck portions. However, these ducts must still merge smoothly into the narrow neck portions whose size is limited by the size of air diffuser assembly. Even a duct of slightlyincreased size when mounted on a narrow air diffuser assemblybecom'es-very unstable and unwieldy. It becomes readily apparent that the size of such a duct may not be increased sufficiently to provide theair flow and volume need for many jobs, without providing independent support for the enlarged duct itself.

The immediate solution to the problem for supporting the enlarged ducts that appears is to simply hang the duct from'the real ceiling or soffit by wires, just as the suspended ceiling framework is hung. However, with such a solution, the wiresmust be anchored to the real ceiling by working through the suspended ceiling, which usually -is already installed. The wires must be precisely located on the-real ceiling so as to align the ducts carried thereby with the air diffuser assemblies the ducts and air control means needed, would be used, but the entire length of such rows would be available for use and when needed. However, the length of such rows would usually require enlarged ducts and would create the afore-mentioned problems in supporting such air ducts over such a length. What is needed then is an improved air duct construction having a large cross-sectional area and which can be easily, quickly and inexpensively installed on a suspended ceiling framework to feed air control means carried by the framework. After installation, such a duct construction could at least bepartially supported from the real ceiling to relieve a portion of its weight from the suspended ceiling framework where vibrations or ceiling movement can be expected.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Therefore, it is the primary object of this invention'to provide an improved suspended ceiling framework supported air'distribution system and method of installing such a system which overcomes the various problems presented by, and limitations of, prior air distribution systems as discussed hereinabove.

Generally stated, the improved air distribution system of the present inventionis' adapted for use with carried by the ceiling framework, and the ducts must be hung on the wires a precise distance below the real ceiling so as to connect with the air difiuser assemblies carried by the ceiling framework. With such precision required to hang the enlarged ducts from the real ceiling, the cost, installation time, etc. made this solution to the problem of supporting the enlarged air ducts impractical for most air distribution systems.

In more and more of the buildings requiring such enlarged air tl 'OfiBI'S, a two foot by four foot suspended ceiling framework is being installed below the real ceiling of the rooms in the building. This framework divides the entire ceiling space into rectangular spaces of two feet wide and four feet long defined by main and cross inverted T-bar runners. The rectangular spaces defined by the framework are each filled with ceiling tile which rests on the lower flanges of the runners to complete of the suspended ceiling. The use of conventional size air ducts over air control means is ideally suited for the suspended ceiling as is explained in my previously identified application. However, when an enlarged air duct is required, the above-described problems in the supporting of the enlarged air duct arise.

Additionally, itwould be very desirable to initially provide parallel rows of enlarged air ducts extending the entire width of the ceiling over rows of air control means extending the entire width of the ceiling. With the initial provision of such rows, only the portions of a suspended ceiling framework. of main and cross inverted T-bar members having air control means mounted between a first pair of runners and extending parallel to, but spaced from, an adjacent second pair of runners, and includes an inverted channel member or troffer mounted to the adjacent second .pair of runners over the air control means, and blocking means extending between the adjacent second pair of runners and the air control means for closing the space therebetween to provide a troffer assembly for conducting conditioned air to the air control means. The channel member or trofier may be made of a resilient material with the side walls initially spread apart to facilitate their retention. between the spaced runners when assembled therebetween. The free edges or feet of the side walls may also have reverse bent, outwardly flared resilient flangeswhich nest under the inverted T- bar head flanges on said assembly. The channel member maybe integrally formed; assembled from separate sides and a web; or folded from a longitudinally notched flat duct board section into a channel shape with or without lower feet channels. The

blocking means may be removed ceiling tile, cut into a suitable shape or marginal side portions of the duct board. Additional supporting means may be provided for supporting at least part of the weight of the channel members. The rows of channel members may have uniform side heights or have descending side heights. The system may also include parallel troffer rows connected by cross ducts in staggered relationship.

Generally, the method of installing a troffer air distribution system in a suspended ceiling framework of main and cross inverted T-bar runners having air control means between one pair of runners, and extending parallel to, but spaced from, an adjacent other pair of runners includes the steps of providing a channel member with side walls between which a web extends, inverting the channel member, mounting the channel member on and between the adjacent other pair of runners over the air control means and inserting a blocking means between said runners and the air control means therebetween to provide an air conduit. The step of mounting the channel member may also includes the contracting of the channel side walls, inserting of the channel feet or free edges between the runners and then releasing the channel side walls. The step of providing the blocking means may include the steps of providing a ceiling tile of suitable shape and inserting the ceiling tile between the rtmners and the air control means. The step of providing the channel member and the step of providing the blocking means may include the steps of providing a flat duct board section, longitudinally notching the board section, folding the notched section, inserting the folded section between the runner with the marginal side portions extending to the air control means. The step of additionally supporting the channel member may be added after the step of mounting the member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view showing a suspended ceiling framework supported troffer air distribution system, according to this invention, located in a rectangular space, defined by building walls which are shown in phantom lines.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view taken along the plane II-Il of FIG. 1 showing an effectively continuous array of troffers, supplied by cross ducts which are in turn fed by vertical supply ducts, shown in phantom lines.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 2 but showing an effectively continuous array of troffers having sides of descending height from the individual troffer supplied by the cross duct.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged, broken away, plan view of the encircled portion of FIG. 1, showing vanes dividing the air from the cross ducts and directing the air, so divided down the air troffers.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of a portion of a suspended ceiling, with the framework thereof mounting an air troffer over an air diffuser assembly.

FIG. 6 is an end elevational vie of a suspended ceiling, showing in solid lines a preferred embodiment of the air troffer over an air diffuser assembly, with the free state position of the air troffer edges shown in phantom lines, and showing in phantom lines over the preferred embodiment an alternative embodiment three-part construction of the air troffer.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, but showing a second alternative preferred embodiment of an air troffer constructed of a covered duct board section.

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the covered duct board section, prior to being folded into the air troffer, and

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plane view taken along the plane IX--IX of FIG. 6, showing the additional support means for supporting at least a part of the weight of the air troffer, according to this invention.

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIGS. 6 and 7, but showing a third alternative preferred embodiment of the air troffer,

FIG. 11 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 5 but shows the third alternative preferred embodiment of the air troffer according to this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS:

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, the suspended ceiling framework supported troffer air distribution system is generally indicated by the number 10. The system 10 is illustratively shown in a rectangular room 11, the walls of which are shown by phantom lines. The room 11 contains a suspended ceiling 12 constructed of a framework 13 which divides the ceiling space into smaller spaces. The framework 13, as best seen in FIGS. 5, 6, and 7, includes main runners 14a and cross runners 14b of inverted T-bar members each having a horizontal flange 15, a vertical web 16 and a head ridge 17. The framework 13 is hung from the real ceiling of the room 11 by soffit wires 18 which join the framework 13 at the intersection of the main and cross runners 14a and 14b. The illustrative suspended ceiling framework 13 is of the commonly used two foot by four foot design, ie the framework 13 divides the ceiling space into rectangles approximately two feet wide and four feet long. A ceiling tile 19 of a suitable rectangular shape and size is inserted into each rectangular space and rests on and between the horizontal flanges 15 of the runners 14.

The system 10 includes the provision of air control means 20 located in the suspended ceiling 12 to be supported by the framework 13 thereof as is taugh in my previously identified co-pending patent application. The air control means 20 illustratively shown in FIGS. 1, 4, 5, 6, and 7 is an air diffuser assembly 21, though other air control means 20 could be used, as required.

The air diffuser assembly 21 as taught by my copending patent application is constructed of spaced inverted T-bar members 22, each having a horizontal flange 23, a vertical web 24, an inside, upwardly extending rib 25 in the flange 23 and spaced from the web 24, and a head ridge 26 with an upwardly opening longitudinal groove 27. Weir supporting inverting channels 28 have the lower edges thereof inserted in the space between the ribs 25 and the vertical webs 24 to seat on the horizontal flanges 23 of the inverted T-bar members 22. The webs of the channels 28 space the members 22 and support a nested pair of weir members 29 as is taught by my US. Pat. No. 3,41 1,425. Plates 30 extend under the head ridges 26 to abut the vertical webs 24 and space them apart while retaining the nested weir members 29 on the channels 28. The r diffuser assembly 21 is completed by the provision of an extractor channel 31 with the lower edges thereof located in the grooves 27 of the head ridges 26 while the perforated web thereof, having extractor vanes 32, is centrally located over and between the spaced inverted T-bar members 22. Illustratively, the air diffuser assembly 21 is shown extending between main runners 14a and is shown centrally located between cross runners 14b. However, the assembly 21 could be located closely adjacent the cross runners 14b or could incorporate a cross runner 14b as one of the spaced inverted T-bar members 22 thereof.

Generally, the suspended ceiling supported troffer air distribution system 10, according to this invention, includes an inverted channel member or troffer 40 for mounting the adjacent cross runners 14b over the air control means 20, and blocking means for extending between the runners l4 and the air control means 20 for closing the space therebetween to provide a troffer ture.

v subassembly for conducting conditioned air. The inmembers 40 and blocking means 90; FIG. 5 in phantom lines'showsa first alternative preferred embodiment of the member 40; FIGS. 7 and 8 show second alternative preferred embodiment of the individual channel members and blocking means 90; FIG. 10 and 11 showa third alternative preferred embodiment of the individual channel members; FIG. 2 shows a preferred embodiment of the system 10; FIG. 3 shows an altemative preferred embodimentfofthe system 10 and FIGS.

1,4, and 9 show views which may be common to all embodiments.

1 Referring now to FIGSJS and 6, the preferred em bodiment of the inverted channel member or troffer 40 includes a channel .41 having sides '42 between corresponding upperzedges of which a'web 43 extends. The side walls 42 have lower free edges or feet 44, with a reverse bent or upturned edges of flanges 45. The channels 41 are preferably made of a resilient material,

such as sheet metal, and the lower feet 44 thereof are separated in a natural state, as is shown in phantom lines in FIG. 6, a distance greater than .the width between. the webs 16b of the cross runners 12b. Such Separation of the feet 44 permits the inverted channel members 40 to be stacked for shipment. The length of a channel 41 will be typically the center to center distance between the soffit wires 18. The channel 41 has a centrally located lower notch 46 to extend over the main runner 14a. The abutting juncture of adjacent ends of the channels 41 will be closed and sealed with tape 47, as willthe To install the channels 41, in the framework 13, the channel 41 is passed through the framework 13 into the attic space thereabove. The channel 41 is then inverted and the lowerfeet 44- contracted for insertion between the vertical webs 16b of the cross runners 12b and the notch 46 aligned over the appropriate main runner 14a. When the lower feet 44 of the inverted channel 41 are adjacent the horizontal flanges 15b, the feet 44 are released, permitting the resilience of the channel 41 to spread the feet 44 and locate the upturned edges 45 under the head ridges 17b to hold the channel 41 on and to the ceiling framework 13 over the air diffuser assembly 21.

The blocking means 90 of the preferred embodiment are the ceilingtiles 19 which were removed from the framework 13 to mount the air diffuser assembly 21 and which now have been cut or otherwise shaped into I soflit wire 18 and pulls the wire 18 against the ends-of If it is deemed advisable, once the inverted channel members 40 are installed in the framework 13, additional support means 70 may be provided for additionally supporting the channel members 40 and for relieving at least a portion of the weight of the channel members 40 from the framework 13. In the preferred embodiment, the additional support means 70 including the provision'of a transverse member 71 extends between the soffit wires 18 over the webs 42 of the channel members 41. The additional support means also includes the provision of clamping or anchoring means 80 for holding the members 71 between the soffit wires .18. The means 80 of thepreferred embodiment are hooks 81, each having a curved or hook shaped end 82 and a threaded end 83. A small hole 84 is punched in the side 43 of the inverted channel members adjacent a soffit wire 18 for receiving the threaded end 83 of the hook 81. A sealing nut 85 is threaded thereto to close the hole 84 and draw the hook end 82 tightly around the soffitwire 18. Y

' The hook 81 secures the channel member 40 to the I the transverse member 71 to provide-lateral-support to escaping therethrough.

the channel 40fThe nut 85 closes the hole 84 to prevent, the conditioned air carried inthe trofler from Referring now to the phantomlines above the solid lines of FIG. 6, the first alternative embodiment of the inverted charmel member 40 includes the'provision of the web 43 and sides 42 as separate pieces. The web 43 is provided with downwardly opening, U-shaped edges 50 which receive the upper edges 51 of the sides 42 to form the channel members 40. The U-shaped edges 50 notch 46' main r'unner14ajuncshould open slightly outwardly to spread the feet 44 of the sides 42 as before. The rest of the sides 42 is the same as before to provide the troffer.

The first alternative embodiment of the channel member--20 is assembled in the framework 13 by locating the sides 42 on the crossrunners 14 and snapping the side edges 50 of the web 42 over the upper edges 51 of the sides 42 to construct the inverted channel members 40 in the framework 13 itself. The big advantage of the first alternative embodiment is that the sides 42 and web 43 may be shipped to the job site flat, and thereby saving shipping space. The additional support means 70, if required, will'be installed just as before.

Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, the second alternative preferred embodiment of the inverted channel member 40 and the blocking means includes the provision of a generally rectangular, flat, covered duct board section 55. The duct board section 55, as seen in FIG. 8 has a duct board layer 56 and a vinyl covering layer 57 therebelow. The duct board layer 56 is provided with a pair of longitudinally extending notches 58 suitably spaced to permit the duct board layer 56 to be folded into the channel member 40 and a pair of longitudinally extending notches 92 suitably spaced to permit the duct board section 55 to be folded to provide marginal side portions 93. The marginal portions 93, so provided, are generally the same size and shape of the cut ceiling tile 91 to provide the blocking means 90. The sections 55 will have open ended slots cut therein, which when the sections 55 are folded, will provide the equivalent of notches 46 for receiving the vertical webs 16a and head ridges 17a, of the main runners 14a therein. The juncture therebetween is closed by tape 47.

The'second alternative preferred embodiment is constructed by cutting a rectangular vinyl covered duct board section 55 from a supply of vinyl covered duct board, cutting the longitudinally extending notches 58 and 93 in the duct board layer 56 as shown in FIG. 8, and folding the section 55 into a C-shaped cross section as shown in FIG. 7. The section 55 so folded is inserted through the framework 13 into the attic space thereabove, probably by permitting the section 55 to unfold slightly. Once the duct board section 55 is above the ceiling framework 13, the section 55 is repositioned into the C-shaped cross-section, with the elongated opening so formed, directed downwardly, and the section 55 is lowered until the section 55 rests on the horizontal flanges 15 between the vertical webs 16. In this position the marginal side portions 93 extend from the vertical webs 16b of the framework 13 to the vertical webs 24 of the air control means 20 and rest on the horizontal flanges 23 of the inverted T-bar members 22. The additional supporting means 70 may be installed, if needed, through the ends of the sections 55 before the next section 55 is installed. Upon complete installation of the sections 55, the vinyl covering layer 57 will be visible from below to complete the ceiling 12 while the duct board layer 56 provides the trofier for conducting conditioned air to the air diffuser assembly 21.

Referring now to FIGS. and 1 l, the third alternative preferred embodiment of the inverted channel member or troffer 40 includes the provision of a generally flat rectangular ductboard section 55 having only the ductboard layer 56. This ductboard section 50 is provided with a pair of longitudinally extending notches 58 suitably spaced to permit the ductboard section 55 to be folded into an inverted channel member 40 which has lower edges 59 which could rest on and between the cross runners 14b. However, foot channels 60 have been provided for receiving the lower edges 59 and for mounting to and between the cross runners 14b.

The foot channels 60, each include an upwardly opening channel portion 61 sized to receive a lower edge 59 therein with an interference fit. The side walls of the channel portion 61 have punched therein downwardly pointing teeth 62 which extend into the ductboard layer 56 adjacent the lower edges 59 to hold the lower edges 59 within the foot channels 60. The foot channels 60, each also have an off-set foot portion 63 with a lower edge 64 for resting on a flange b adjacent the web 16b of the cross runners 14b. An upper edge 65 is provided on the foot portion 63 for extending under the head ridge 17b of the cross runners 14b. The upper and lower edges 65 and 64 vertically hold the foot channels 60 to the cross runners 14b while the insertion of the ceiling tile 91 maintaining the foot portions 63 against the vertical webs 16b.

The additional supporting means 70 of the third alternative preferred embodiment includes the provision of one or more longitudinal channel members 73 along the sides of the duct board member 40. The members 73 each have an offset tongue 74 in one end and a pair of notches 75 in the sides thereof as well as a hole 76 in the web thereof adjacent the other end. The tongue 74 is sized to be inserted between the sides of the longitudinal channel member 73 for a purpose which will appear later. The notches 75 are for receiving a soffit wire 18 therein which is clamped therein by clamping or anchoring means 80. The clamping or anchoring means 80 shown includes a smaller clamping member 86 with a hole 87 therein for receiving a sheet metal screw 88 therethrough. The screw 88 is sized to be threaded into the hole 76 in the web of the longitudinal channel member 73 to draw the clamping member 86 over the soflit wire 18 and toward the web, thereon, bending the soffit wire 18 inwardly as seen in FIGS. 9 and 10.

If the ductboard channel members 40 are to be combined, then the tongue 74 of one member 73 will extend into the next member 73 behind the soffit wire 18 after which the clamping member 86 will bend the wire 18 thereagainst to interlock the longitudinal channel members 73 for supporting the ductboard section 55. If so desired, the transverse members 71 could also be provided, though there would probably be no need for hooks 81 as the clamping members 84 will perform the function of the anchors 81 The third alternative preferred embodiment is constructed by cutting a ductboard section 55 from a supply of ductboard, cutting the longitudinal notches 58 in the ductboard, sections 55, and folding the section 55 into a an inverted U-shape. The section 55 will now probably have its lower edges 59 inserted into the channel portions 61 of the foot channels 60 to be secured therein by the teeth 62. The longitudinal and transverse members 73 and 71 are secured to the sides and the web of the ductboard section 55 if they are desired or needed.

The section 50 so folded and assembled is inserted through the framework 13 into the attic space thereabove, and lowered until the foot channels 60 are located on and between the cross runners 14b. The transverse members 71 are located between soffit wires 18. An adjacent tongue 74 is inserted into the longitudinal channel member 73 and the sofiit wire 18 is located in the notches 75 ready for the clamping member 86 to clamp the wire 18 against the tongue 74. The screw 88 are tightened to move the clamping member 86 and thereby complete the mounting of the third alternative preferred embodiment of the channel member or trofl'er 40 in the framework 13. The ceiling tiles 91 will be installed as before.

Thus, the air trofier of inverted channel members 40 and the blocking means 90, according to this invention, can be supported by the suspended ceiling framework 13 to permit the air troffer to have as large a cross-sectional area as needed and yet deliver the conditioned air to the air control means 20.

While the inverted channel member 40 and blocking means have been heretofore described as an individual unit, each channel member 40 must be combined with other aligned channel members 40 to provide an effectively continuous troffer array 95 to form an air distribution system 10 for a room 1 1.

As shown in FIG. 1, it is contemplated that the channel members 40 will be combined in efiectively continuous troffer arrays or rows 95 which will then be provided with a centrally located wall 96 to divide each array or row 95 into two halves. A cross duct 97 will be located between two adjacent halves and will be fed conditioned air from a vertical supply duct 98. The conditioned air passes down the supply duct 98 into the cross duct 97 where the air is carried to the troffer arrays or rows 95. At the juncture of the troffer array or row 95 with the cross duct 97, a splitter air vane unit 99, as shown in FIG. 4, will divide the conditioned air and direct its flow in opposite directions along the troffer array or row 95. The conditioned air is carried by the troffer array or row 95 along the air diffuser assembly 21 to be diffused thereby into the room 11.

As seen by comparing FIGS. 2 and 3, there are illustratively shown two different embodiments of troffer arrays or row 95. FIG. 2 shows a preferred troffer array or row 95- which is composed of individual inverted channel members 40 having sides '42 of generally uniform height. In the preferred embodiment of the troffer array or row 95, as conditioned air passes through the air diffuser assembly 2l'into the room 11 below, the velocity pressure in the troffer row 65 will decrease. Since the cross-sectional area of the troffer row 95 remains the same, velocity of the conditioned air flowing incthe troffer row 95 I will decrease. The velocity of the conditioned air in the troffer row 95 will eventually reach zero at the wall 96and the velocity of the conditioned air being diffused through the diffuser 21 will likewise. drop. Normally such a drop in the velocity of; the diffused air towards the ends of the troffer rows 95 will not'be objectionable. Y

However, for those circumstances where such adrop in thevelocity of the air being diffused might be objectionable, the alternative preferred embodiment of the troffer array or row 95 is provided. As seen in FIG. 3, the alternative preferred embodiment of the troffer array or row 95 has groups of inverted channel members 40 (typically three to a group) whose sides 42 decrease in height in both directions from the channel member 40 supplied by duct 98. The decreasing height of the sides 42 decrease the cross-sectional area of successive inverted channel members 40 in both directions, to compensate for the loss of conditioned air through the air diffuser assemblies 21 and maintain a generally constant air flow. velocity along the troffer array or row 95. The constant air flow velocity provides a generally constant velocity to the conditioned air being diflused into the room 11 along the length of the troffer array or row 95.

Thus the suspended ceiling framework supported troffer .air distribution system 10, according to this invention, provides an air troffer system which has sufficientcross section area to deliver air across the width of a room. Additionally, the system 10, according to this invention is easily, simply and inexpensively mounted to the framework of a suspended ceiling over an air control means carried by the framework to conduct conditioned air thereto for diffusion throughout the room below.

I claim:

1. A suspended ceiling framework supported troffer air distribution system for use with a suspended ceiling framework of main and cross inverted T-bar runners, having air control means mounted between a first pair of runners and extending parallel to, but spaced from, an adjacent second pair of runners, comprising:

an inverted channel member mounted to and between the adjacent second pair of runners over the air control means and blocking means extending between the runners and the air control means for closing the space therebetween to provide a conduit for conducting conditioned air to the air control means.

2. The invention as in claim 1 wherein the channel member is made of a resilient material, and is provided with lower feet which are separated in a natural state,

by a distance greater than spacing between the second pair of runners, said lower feet being contracted for insertion between the second pair of runners whereby the resilience of the member maintains the channel member mounted between the second pair of runners.

3. The invention as in claim 2 wherein the channel member includes upturned edges extending outwardly and upwardly from the lower feet, said edges gripping the T-bar runner to mount the channel member.

4. The invention as in claim I wherein the channel member is formed of separable sides and a web, said web having formed edges opening downwardly which mate with the upper edges of the sides to form the channel member. i

5. The invention as in-claim 4 wherein the sides are provided with lower feet, wherein the web edges open slightly outwardly to separate the lower feet of the sides a distance greater than the spacing between the second pair of runners, and thereby bias the feet into the runners and hold the web to the sides.

6. The invention as in claim 1 wherein the blocking means includes ceiling tile located between the runners and the air control means.

7. The invention as in claim 6 wherein said ceiling tiles are ceiling tile removed from a space enclosed by the main and cross runners to mount the air control means, said removed ceiling tile being cut into a suitable shape for reinsertion between the runners and the air control means.

8. The invention as in claim 1 wherein the channel member includes a section of ductboard formed in an inverted U-shape. v

9. The invention as in claim 8 wherein the ductboard has lower edges I and wherein foot channels are provided for receiving the lower edges of the ductboard and for mounting to and between the adjacent second pair of runners. 10. The invention as in claim 9 wherein the foot channels each include an upwardly opening U-shaped cross section portion for receiving and holding the lower edge of the ductboard, and an offset foot portion extending downwardly from the U-shaped cross section portion to seat on the flange of the second runner, said foot portion having an upper edge extending under the head ridge of the second runner to hold the foot channels to the second pair of runners.

1 1. The invention as in claim 8 wherein the section of ductboard is initially flat, said ductboard section being longitudinally notched for folding into a channel.

12. The invention as in claim 11 wherein the ductboard section has additional longitudinal notches located parallel to the side edges to provide marginal side portions, said marginal side portions being folded inwardly between the runners and the air control means when the ductboard is mounted on the second pair of runners.

13. The invention as in claim 12 wherein the ductboard section has an inner ductboard layer which is longitudinally notched, and an outer covering layer, said covering layer being visible from below the framework when the marginal side portions extend between the runners and the air control means.

14. The invention as in claim 1 additionally comprising additional support means for additionally supporting the inverted channel member.

15. The invention as in claim 14 wherein the framework includes soffit wires hanging from the ceiling and wherein the additional support means holds the channel member to a soffit wire to be additionally supported thereby.

16. The invention as in claim 15 wherein the additional support means includes clamping means around the soffit wire and secured to the channel member to provide the additional support.

17. The invention as in claim 16 wherein the clamping means includes the provision of a hole in the side wall of the channel member adjacent the soffit wire and wherein the anchor includes a hook extending around the soffit wire and into the hole to be secured therein to secure the channel member to the wire.

18. The invention as in claim 16 wherein the additional support means includes a transverse member extending between adjacent soffit wires and located on the inverted channel member, said wire anchors pulling the soffit wires together against the member to provide lateral support.

19. The invention as in claim 15 wherein the additional support means includes longitudinal members extending between adjacent soffit wires along the channel member, at least one end of said longitudinal member being suitably shaped to receive a soffit wire therein, and includes clamping means on said one end for clamping the soffit wire so received to the longitudinal member to provide longitudinal member provid longitudinal support.

20. The invention as in claim 19 wherein the longitudinal member is U-shaped and opening outwardly with the one end thereof having aligned notches for receiving the soffit wire, and wherein the clamping means includes a clamping member sized to fit within the longitudinal member over the soffit wire and includes a fastener between the longitudinal member and the clamping member to draw the two together to bend the sofiit wire inwardly, and mount the longitudinal member to the soffit wire.

21. The invention as in claim 1 wherein a plurality of air control means are provided to form a linear, effectively continuous, air control means; and wherein a plurality of channel members and plurality of blocking means are provided to form a linear, effectively continuous, troffer array to conduct conditioned air along the continuous air control means.

22. The invention as in claim 21 additionally comprising a transverse wall across the end of the troffer array to close that end.

23. The invention as in claim 21 wherein the channel members of a troffer array have sides of uniform height.

24. The invention as in claim 21 wherein the channel members of troffer array have a cross-section which is reduced as the channel members extend in opposite directions from a given channel member to compensate for the upstream flow of air through the air control means.

25. The invention as in claim 24 wherein the channel members of a troffer array have sides of descending heights, extending in opposite directions from the given channel member to provide a progressively reduced cross-sectional area.

26. The invention as in claim 21 wherein a parallel pair of troffer arrays are provided, and wherein a cross duct extends between the trofier arrays to provide conditioned air, and a vane unit is provided at the juncture of the duct with each array to direct the conditioned air supplied by the cross duct down the arrays.

27. The invention as in claim 21 wherein at least five parallel troffer arrays are provided, wherein a transverse wall is centrally located in each array to provide array halves, and wherein a cross duct is provided between adjacent array halves to supply conditioned air thereto.

28. The invention as in claim 27 wherein the cross ducts are in staggered relationship between arrays except for the end arrays.

29. A method of installing a troffer air distribution system in a suspended ceiling framework of main and cross inverted T-bar runners having an air control means mounted between one pair of runners and extending parallel to, but spaced from, an adjacent other pair of runners, comprising the steps of:

providing a channel member with side flanges between which a web extends,

inverting the channel member mounting the inverted channel member on and between a pair of spaced runners over the air control means, and

inserting a blocking means between said runners and the air control means therebetween to provide an air conduit. 30. The method of claim 29 wherein the step of providing a channel member with side flanges includes providing said member with side flanges having the lower feet thereof spread apart, in a natural state a distance greater than the spacing between the pair of runners, and wherein the step 'of mounting the inverted channel member includes the steps of contracting the feet of the channel member, inserting the feet between the pair of runners, and releasing the feet to mount the channel member to the runners. 31. The method as in claim 29 wherein the step of providing a channel member includes the steps of providing sides and a web, and

wherein the step of mounting the channel member includes the steps of mounting the sides on the runners, and mounting the web to the sides so mounted to the runners.

32. The method as in claim 29 wherein the step of providing a channel member additionally includes the step of inserting each lower edge of the folded ductboard section into a lower foot channel to complete the channel member.

33. The method as in claim 29 wherein the step of providing blocking means includes the step of providing ceiling tile of a suitable size, and

wherein the step of inserting a blocking means includes the step of inserting the ceiling tile in the space between the sides of the air control means and the adjacent runners. 34. The method as in claim 29 wherein the step of providing a channel member includes the steps of providing a flat duct board section, longitudinally notching the duct board section, to

facilitate folding into a channel member, and folding the ductboard section into a channel member. 35. The method as in claim 33 wherein the step of providing a channel member includes the steps of providing a flat duct board section having a covering layer along one surface thereof, longitudinally notching the board section on the op posite surface suitably for folding into a C-shaped cross-section with marginal side portions, folding the section into a C-shaped cross-section, and wherein the step of mounting the channel member and the step of inserting the blocking means includes the step of I I inserting the folded duct board between the runners with the marginal side portions extending to the air control means to close the space therebetween. 36. The method as in claim 29 additionally including the step of additionally supporting the channel member between the steps of mounting the member and inserting a blocking means.

37. The method as in claim 36 wherein the step of additionally supporting the channel member includes the step of clamping the channel member to a sofiit wire.

38. The method as in claim 37 wherein the step of supporting the channel member includes the step of inserting a transverse member between the soffit wires before the step of anchoring the channel member to a sofl'it wire and wherein the step of clamping the channel member to a soffit wire includes the step of pulling the soffit wires against the ends of the transverse member to provide lateral support.

39. The method as in claim 36 wherein the step of additionally supporting the channel member includes the steps of 7 providing a longitudinal member along the channel member, said longitudinal member having one end suitably shaped to receive a soffit wire therein,

inserting the soffit wire into the one end of the longitudinal member and to support the channel member.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3831506 *Nov 21, 1972Aug 27, 1974Hunter Douglas InternationalComposite ventilation member for ceiling coverings
US3835606 *May 22, 1972Sep 17, 1974M LibermanCombination ceiling tile and air duct structure
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US8708788Mar 27, 2012Apr 29, 2014International Business Machines CorporationSystem to route airflow through dynamically changing ducts
US8900040Nov 29, 2012Dec 2, 2014International Business Machines CorporationSystem and method to redirect and/or reduce airflow using actuators
US8983675Sep 29, 2008Mar 17, 2015International Business Machines CorporationSystem and method to dynamically change data center partitions
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Classifications
U.S. Classification454/303, 52/506.7
International ClassificationF24F13/02, E04B9/02, F24F13/072
Cooperative ClassificationF24F13/072, F24F13/0254, E04B2009/026
European ClassificationF24F13/072, F24F13/02F
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 27, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: VENTUREDYNE, LTD., 10201 WEST LINCOLN AVENUE, MILW
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:WEHR CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004703/0252
Effective date: 19861230
Owner name: VENTUREDYNE, LTD. A WISCONSIN CORP.,WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WEHR CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004703/0252